By Clint Thompson
Taylor Sills, executive director of the GCC, discusses the latest news highlighting the Protocol’s value, this time with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
“As you will remember a while back, the USDA and Secretary (Tom) Vilsack asked for people to apply for the Climate Smart Agriculture Pilot Program. Different universities and commodity groups and other types of agencies in that space applied for these grants. They thought they could show the USDA some of the best practices on how to best manage climate smart agriculture,” Sills said.
“The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, the National Cotton Council is one of the groups that applied for one of these grants. They got one of the largest ones in the country at $90 million. This is a big deal. This validates what we’ve been saying about the Protocol all along. It’s the best way for cotton producers to tell their story to prove that they’re sustainable on the global stage and talk about the sustainability of American cotton.
“We’re very excited about this. But we need more growers to sign up. Georgia is leading the way in the Southeast compared to our friends across the Southeast in terms of protocol signups.”
The project will provide technical and financial assistance to more than 1,000 U.S. cotton producers, including those that are historically under-served growers. It will advance the adoption of climate smart practices such as no-till, cover crops and nutrient management on more than a million acres, producing more than four million bales of Climate Smart Cotton over five years.